Contact: Sheridan Betts
Phone: (405) 724-2464
Citizen petition supports reopening state
OKLAHOMA CITY (April 16, 2020) — Now that Oklahoma’s health care system is prepared to handle the estimated “peak” in COVID-19 hospitalizations, a new petition allows citizens to call on state and local government officials to reopen the state while maintaining sensible health precautions.
The petition appears to fall in line with the recent goals announced by Gov. Kevin Stitt.
“We the working people of the State of Oklahoma call on all of our state and local elected officials to begin the process of lifting all ‘shelter-in-place’ and similarly oppressive orders by May 1, 2020,” the petition states. “This does not mean that social distancing or other less-restrictive measures should be curtailed, but that working people must be allowed to earn an honest living so that we can care for our families and communities. Any government-imposed restrictions should be targeted, limited, and justified by findings that they are necessary and proper within Oklahoma.”
The government-ordered closing of businesses, which was an indirect order to fire or furlough thousands of Oklahomans, was imposed to achieve only the short-term goal of spreading out COVID-19 hospitalizations over a longer period of time so demand for treatment would not exceed hospital capacity.
Officials from both the medical industry and state government confirm that Oklahoma’s health care system is now prepared to handle the expected peak of COVID-19 hospitalizations with little problem.
“The extreme measures imposed by state and local governments were to make certain that hospitals would not be overloaded by COVID-19 patients,” said Jonathan Small, president of the Oklahoma Council of Public Affairs (OCPA), a free-market think tank. “There is no longer any valid reason to fear that scenario. Therefore, it is time to allow people to return to work.
“The longer officials drag this out, the greater the number of employers that will be forced to close their doors forever and the greater the unnecessary financial devastation for working Oklahomans who lose their jobs,” Small continued.
The petition notes that reopening Oklahoma for business does not mean a return to pre-pandemic social practices, since all businesses will need to continue implementing safety measures to reduce the chance of viral spread.
“Parents can financially provide for their families and protect their health,” Small said. “The two are goals are not incompatible. Oklahomans are capable of doing both. Now that the curve has flattened in Oklahoma, it’s time our government leaders listen to the will of the people and again allow Oklahomans to work and provide for their families.”
To view the petition, go to ReopenOklahoma.com